Two months ago I asked for your thoughts on the McGill employee experience, and your response was incredible. Nearly 1,300 people completed the My Workplace survey, and more than 400 took the time to share text comments as well, averaging about a half-page each. You had a lot to tell us, and I want to thank you for all of it – both positive and negative. I also want to invite you to join our summer discussion groups to delve deeper into the results – but more on that below.
Preliminary survey results
We’re still analyzing the data, but in the meantime, here are a few quick highlights:
- Encouraging smart risks and bold ideas
Fully 60% of respondents told us they’re only “somewhat” or “not at all” comfortable trying new ways of doing things, because of the risk of failure. That’s understandable, but it harms our ability to improve. McGill – and I – need to do more to send the message that it’s okay to try bold new ideas, even when success isn’t guaranteed.
- Inviting different perspectives
79% of you said multiple viewpoints are welcome in your units either “always,” “sometimes” or “most of the time.” That’s an encouraging number, but I’d like to see that number increase.
- Better ways of working
It’s clear that resources are tight and we need more efficient ways of working. Nearly 40% of respondents told us that deadlines and work volume stand in the way of top-quality work either “always” or “most of the time.” We need to push that number down.
- An engaged workforce
Crucially, the enormous response tells us that our community is engaged and interested in making McGill better. That’s deeply encouraging to me – especially as I’m about to ask for your time and ideas once again.
Join discussion groups to help us dig deeper
You know your job and your workplace culture far better than I do, and you have a unique perspective on what runs well – or not so well – at McGill. Many of you have also asked for more ways to get involved, via the survey’s comments section. And so I’m inviting you to sign up for discussion groups that we’ll be hosting over the summer, to help us delve more deeply into key themes that have emerged from the survey.
Those themes are:
- Leadership and organizational structure
How can units work better together and share information more effectively? And how can senior administrators support you better?
- Performance management
How should we improve recognition – and accountability – for our employees? And are there ways to improve career development and training during our budget crunch?
- Quality and client service
How happy are you with the services you receive from other McGill units – and the services you provide to them? What can we do to improve service quality?
- Innovation, empowerment and risk
How can we encourage people to take smart risks, and communicate that it’s okay to fail sometimes? And how can we empower our employees to make their great ideas a reality?
If you’d like to give us your thoughts on one or more of these themes, sign up for our discussion groups here. Once we know how many people to expect, we’ll arrange appropriate venues, book the dates, and send you all the information you need to attend.
In the fall and beyond
In the autumn, once the survey analysis is complete and the discussion groups have shared their thoughts, I’ll take a good hard look at every idea and conclusion that’s emerged from the process, and we’ll share everything we’ve learned with you as well.
We’ve never done anything quite like this before, and we don’t know whether to expect dozens of discussion group volunteers or hundreds. We know it’ll be hard to schedule meetings over the summer, and that some people may not be able to attend them all. And we don’t know quite where this process will lead. But we’re willing to accept these risks – despite the ways it might fail – because we’re excited about the ways it might succeed.
Mr. Michael Di Grappa
Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance
Office of the Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance